Panchmel Dal – Flavorful Five Lentils Dal

Panchmel dal is prepared with five lentils and is a great accompaniment for Indian flatbreads.

Bowl of panchmel dal served with a roti. A delicious simple meal

Dazzling Dals

Theme of the week is dazzling dals. The first recipe I posted yesterday is dal tadka which is prepared with toor dal and the second recipe is panchmel dal.

What is Panchmel Dal?

Dazzling panchmel dal is made with five lentils. Quantity and type of dals/lentils varies from household to household. Cooked lentils are seasoned and, tempered with cumin and asafoetida. Authentic version is a no onion garlic recipe. However, recent versions have adapted onion garlic and tomato as well.

Panchmel dal is a traditional Rajasthani dish. Rajasthan is an arid state with scarce fresh vegetables and hence the cuisine uses less fresh ingredients. I do not know if my version is authentic but the main reason I made it with no onion garlic is to keep it as close to the traditional recipe as possible.

A bowl of yummy five lentils dal

Lentils for Panchmel Dal

Panchmel Dal is a 5 lentils dal or 5 lentils Indian stew. Lentils used are toor dal, whole moong, chana dal, urad dal with/without skin, masoor dal and moong dal. Of the six lentils mentioned above, one can pick masoor dal or moong dal as the fifth lentil. Regardless of the types used, the common dals are toor dal, chana dal, whole moong and urad dal. The fifth dal is subjective. I used split moong dal and is a good substitute for masoor dal.

There are many versions and some versions use equal quantities of all five lentils. Today’s recipe has equal parts of toor, chana and moong Dal, and ½ part each of whole moong and urad dal. I intentionally used less urad dal fearing a sticky panchmel dal as urad dal is sticky.

How to make Panchmel Dal

There are multiple ways to cook Panchmel Dal. The basic step is cooking lentils until soft. This is done either in an Instant Pot, stovetop pressure cooker or directly on stovetop in a saucepan. Once the dal is cooked, it is seasoned and tempered using ghee or combination of ghee and oil.

A bowl of panchmel dal with a piece of phulka

Panchmel Dal in Instant Pot

I tried two setting in mini Instant Pot to cook Panchmel Dal.
Beans Setting – In this setting cooking time is 30 minutes and I did natural pressure release (NPR). Lentils were very soft and did not require too much of mashing.
Manual Setting – I did 10 minutes manual and natural pressure release.
Lentils were soft and chana dal was soft but still held it’s shape. I was afraid chana dal was undercooked, however I liked biting on firm chana dal in panchmel dal.
Both these setting work and depending on individual preference, use the settings accordingly. If one wants really soft dal, 12-14 minutes manual is probably the ideal setting in manual mode, though I have not tried it.

A plate of panchmel dal, phulka and cauliflower subzi

Panchmel Dal Recipe

4.91 from 11 votes
Panchmel Dal
Cook Time
30 mins
 

Panchmel dal is Indian dal prepared with five varieties of lentils or dals.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Servings: 3
Author: MySpicyKitchen
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp Toor Dal
  • 1 tbsp Chana Dal
  • 1 tbsp Moong Dal
  • ½ tbsp Whole Moong
  • ½ tbsp Urad Dal
  • 1 tsp Oil
Tempering
  • 2-3 tsp Ghee or Oil
  • 3 small Green Chilies cut into 3 pieces each
  • ¼ tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 Cardamons
  • tsp Asafoetida
  • ½ tsp Coriander Powder
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric
  • ¼ - ½ tsp Amchur Powder
  • ¾ tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Water
  • Few drops Lime Juice as required
Instructions
Cook Dals
  1. Wash dals and cook in instant with ½ - ¾ cup water and ½ tsp of oil.  

  2. Set settings to Manual/Pressure Cook, 10 minutes on high pressure and natural pressure release.  

  3. Open the lid, add salt, water and give a good stir.

  4. Change IP settings to saute mode and bring dal to boil.

  5. Meantime, in a frying pan heat ghee+oil for tempering.

  6. Add cumin, cardamom, cloves and let the seeds sizzle.

  7. Throw in green chilies and let the chilies change color.

  8. Next go in the spices and powders. 

  9. Turn off the flame, pour tempering on boil dal, mix and cover the dal. 

  10. Cancel the saute mode and let the dal sit for few minutes.

  11. Mind you instant pot plate is still hot and dal will continue to simmer.

  12. After 3 - 5 minutes, remove dal from the inner pot from IP. Make sure dal has reached the right consistency and if kept too long in IP, dal will thicken as the plate is still hot.

  13. Add lime juice now or squeeze some just before serving.

  14. Serve it with some dal or rice.

Recipe Notes
  • This recipe uses equal parts of chana dal, toor dal, moong dal and, ½ part each of whole moong and urad dal.
  • For a variation make it with onion, ginger, garlic and tomatoes.

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A bowl of panchmel dal

Five lentils dal served with phulka

This day in:
2008 – Mushrooms Green Bell Peppers Curry and Shrimp Curry
2014 – Mango Fool
2016 – Panzanella Salad

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#88

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